Monthly Archives: December 2010

Foodie goose egg review

From Jen and Claire – foodie friends

Zara and Becky were kind enough to bring us a sence meadow goose egg when they came over for dinner the other day. We decided to make some scrambled eggs, the single goose egg in one pan and 3 normal hen eggs in another so that we could compare the two batches. The goose egg was much more colourful and flavouresome! Very enjoyable and highly recommended! Looking forward to lots more sence meadow produce in 2011, happy new year!


Sheep skins

Based on the instructions on this link.
http://www.rivercottage.net/forum/ask/processing-and-other-crafts/25881how-to-curetaw-a-sheepskin/

I have processed the sheep skins today. Firstly scrapping off the flesh from the inside ( not much on my sheep). Then reining them, washing them on a wool cycle, then soaking them in a salt, alum, washing soda solution. They are now soaking in an out building for three weeks. Can’t wait to see if it works! I want to make a small hearth rug.


Muscovy Article

I can’t believe it, Country Smallholding magazine got in touch today to say that they wanted to publish an article I sent them about Muscovy ducks. How exciting. Julie took the photos so I can’t take allthe credit! They will be paying us as well!

It won’t be until the new year, but really excited already. Wooho, what a lovely Christmas prezzie.


Black pudding

Just seen a Hebridean crofter make what looked like a pretty simple traditional black pudding recipe on Countryfile. She cleaned a sheep stomach and filled it with a mixture of blood, oatmeal and onions, tied the ends and then boiled it for an hour and a half. So next year when we take the lambs, we just need to remember to ask for the stomachs (which we will catch when they throw them out the back door at us probably) and coincide that with a duck or rabbit despatch day, as we won’t be able to get the lamb blood. Then we just need to see if we have the stomach to finish the job. Ho Ho.


Liver Pate Recipe

We are making a rich liver pate today from the various livers we have been collecting and freezing over the past few months. ( I am aware how strange that sounds).

The recipe is from HFW’s MEAT book, and we have made it before but I wanted to share it here.

750g of liver (which is in our case 2x lambs liver, 2 x duck liver and 2 x rabbit liver….so a lot)

1 large onion chopped

a knob of butter

150ml of whole milk

1 tblespn of double cream.

100g breadcrumbs

250g minced pork

port

sage, thyme fresh

pinch of mace, and cayenne, and 1/2 tsp of salt.

Sweat onions in butter, warm up the milk adn cream add breadcrumbs and leave to spoak. All in gredience in a food processor, and wizz till smooth. Put mixture in an overn proof dish, lid with buttered foil. Cook in a Bain Marie at 160 for 1 3/4 hours. Freezes well and can be kept for a week.

BTW, this makes sh%t loads, so we mostly halve the recipe. Today we are making the full version as we have offered it out to loads of people who are having dinner parties…might try it with sherry.

I do love Hugh FW, he is the god of meat.


Waste not want not Christmas Craft

This weekends joint is a leg of our lamb. In order to cut down the fat in take I decided to bone the leg out, trim the fat, roll the joint and do a quick roast served pink. A and S are coming over for a pre Christmas meal on Thursday so I wanted to experiment. After boning the meat, Orio our little whippet got the first of the spoils.

Then I weighted the meat. Without the bone, the leg meat weighs nearly a kg. Plenty for 4 people.

This left us with lots of little bits of fat, so we decided to make some fat ball bird feeders.

All you need is some string and and fat, and some seeds. We made ours in coke cans or lemonade bottles. We melted the fat in a cup in the microwave and then poured it on to the seeds.


Christmas is coming and the smallholder is getting fat

Well all this living the good life has left me rather on the round side. We were cycling to work which was keeping my weight in check, but with the Baltic conditions that has fallen off a bit for a few weeks. Weight gain in relation to ‘self’ (rather than the holding pigs) is not something small holders talk about a great deal. I think the whole vanity thing isn’t really part of this life style, but we are supposed to be more healthy. I am not eating any more meat than I used to, but rolled sheeps belly is a lot more fatty than shop bought chicken breast. So I am now having a concerted effort to shed a few pounds before shorts and t-shirt weather comes around again.

One of the difficulties is that lots of preserving methods involve sugar. Pickling and jamming increase sugar levels up to obsceen amounts, and sausage making certainly requires plenty of fat. Also the desire to use every cut of meat means than inevitably some of the fatty cuts are eaten rather than made into dog food.

The summer bounty is well and truly used up, so I need to buy in most of our food now. I can make a few sensible choices before next season.  Its much easier in the summer when salads are very plentiful and there is no much physically to do. ……It much more tempting to bake cakes and sit by the fire in December.